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FCC & USA v. Fox, et al., No. 10-1293 (Sup. Ct.)

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Released: November 10, 2011
No. 10-1293
In the Supreme Court of the United States
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.,
PETITIONERS
v.
FOX TELEVISION STATIONS, INC., ET AL.
ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

BRIEF OF THE CATO INSTITUTE,

CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY & TECHNOLOGY,

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION,

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, AND TECHFREEDOM

AS AMICI CURIAE

IN SUPPORT OF

RESPONDENTS

ILYA SHAPIRO
JOHN P. ELWOOD
CATO INSTITUTE
Counsel of Record
1000 Massachusetts Ave., ERIC A. WHITE
NW
VINSON & ELKINS LLP
Washington, DC 20001
2200 Pennsylvania Ave.,
(202) 842-0200
NW, Suite 500 West
ishapiro@cato.org
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 639-6500
jelwood@velaw.com

[Additional Counsel Listed On Inside Cover]

EMMA J. LLANSÓ
THOMAS S. LEATHERBURY
CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY
VINSON & ELKINS LLP
& TECHNOLOGY
Trammell Crow Center
1634 I Street, NW,
2001 Ross Avenue,
Suite 1100
Suite 3700
Washington, DC 20006
Dallas, TX 75201
(202) 637-9800
(214) 220-7700
ellanso@cdt.org
tleatherbury@velaw.com
JOHN BERGMAYER
LEE TIEN
HAROLD FELD
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER
PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE
FOUNDATION
1818 N Street, NW,
454 Shotwell Street
Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94110
Washington, DC 20036
(415) 436-9993
(202) 861-0020
tien@eff.org
john@publicknowledge.org
BERIN SZOKA
TECHFREEDOM
1899 L Street, NW, Suite
1260
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 455-8186
bszoka@techfreedom.org


QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether the Federal Communications Commis-
sion’s current indecency-enforcement regime violates
the First or Fifth Amendment to the United States
Constitution.
(I)

II

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Question Presented...................................................... I
Table of Authorities .................................................. III
Interest of Amici Curiae ............................................. 1
Summary of Argument ............................................... 3
Argument .................................................................... 5
A. The Convergence Of Modern Communica-
tions Technologies Means That Broadcast
Television Is No Longer A “Uniquely
Pervasive” Medium ............................................... 5
B. Consumers’ Increasing Ability To Control
The Content Available In Their Households
Means Broadcasting Is No Longer An
Invasive Harm To Children ................................ 11
C. Because
Broadcasting
Is
No
Longer
Uniquely Pervasive Or Invasive, Broadcast
Speech Merits The Same First Amendment
Protections As Other Media................................22
Conclusion................................................................. 25

III

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES

Cases:

Page(s)

ACLU v. Mukasey,
534 F.3d 181 (3d Cir. 2008).........................18, 22
Brown v. Entm’t Merchs. Ass’n,
131 S. Ct. 2729 (2011) .......................................24
FCC v. League of Women Voters of Cal.,
486 U.S. 364 (1984) ...........................................24
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation,
438 U.S. 726 (1978) ................................... passim
Reno v. ACLU,
521 U.S. 844 (1997) ...........................5, 23, 24, 25
Sable Commc’ns of Cal., Inc. v. FCC,
492 U.S. 115 (1989) .....................................22, 24
Turner Broad. Sys., Inc. v. FCC,
520 U.S. 180 (1997) ...........................................24
United States v. Playboy Entm’t Grp., Inc.,
529 U.S. 803 (2000) ...............4, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25

Miscellaneous:

ABC Full Episodes, http://abc.go.com/watch ..........7
Marvin Ammori, Copyright’s Latest
Communications Policy: Content
Lockout and Compulsory Licensing for
Internet Television
, 18 CommLaw
Conspectus 375 (2010).........................................8
Apple OS X Security, http://www.apple.
com/macosx/what-is/security.html.....................13

IV

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Anne Becker, NBC’s Office Gets Web
Broadcast, Broadcasting & Cable
(March 16, 2005), http://www.
broadcastingcable.com/
article/CA511340.html ........................................7
Broadband and Dial-Up Adoption, 2000-
2011, Pew Internet & American Life
Project Surveys (Mar. 2000-May 2011),
http://www.pewinternet.org/Trend-
Data/Home-Broadband-Adoption.aspx...............9
Jeremy Caplan et al., Best Inventions of
2008, Time Magazine, http://www.time.
com/time/specials/packages/article/0,288
04,1852747_1854195_1854116,00.html.......... 7-8
CBS Video, http://www.cbs.com/video/....................7
Charter, http://www.myaccount.
charter.com/customers/support.aspx?sup
portarticleid=1678 .............................................13
Comments of the Progress & Freedom
Foundation and the Electronic Frontier
Foundation before the Federal
Communications Commission, No. 09-
194 (Feb. 24, 2010), available at
http://ecfsdocs.fcc.gov/filings/2010/02/24/
6015538029.html ...............................................16
Control Your TV, http://controlyourtv.org/ ...........17

V

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Cord Cutting and TV Service: What’s
Really Going On?, Consumer Electronics
Association (May 2011), available at
http://www.cesweb.org/shared_files/ECD
-TOC/CEACordCuttingAnalysis.pdf.................10
Demographics of Internet Users, Pew
Internet & American Life Project
Surveys (Apr. 26-May 22, 2011),
http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-
Pages/Trend-Data/Whos-Online.aspx.................9
DVRs Now In 40% of U.S. TV Households,
Leichtman Research Group (Sept. 27,
2010), http://www.leichtman
research.com/press/092710release.html...........16
DVRs Now In Over One of Every Five U.S.
Households, Leichtman Research Group
(Aug. 21, 2007), http://www.leichtman
research.com/press/082107release.html...........16
Federal Communications Commission,
Report on Cable Industry Prices (Feb.
14, 2011), available at http://hraunfoss.
fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-
284A1.pdf ...........................................................11
Jason Fields et al., A Child’s Day: Home,
School, and Play (Selected Indicators of
Child Well-Being)
, U.S. Census Bureau
Household Economic Studies (Feb.
2001), available at http://www.census.
gov/prod/2001pubs/p70-68.pdf ..........................19

VI

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Joe Flint, ‘True Blood,’ Anyone? That’s the
Question HBO Is Getting Ready to Ask
As It Offers Repeats of Its Sexy, Violent
Beast to Commercial Cable Networks
,
San Jose Mercury News (July 25, 2010),
available at 2010 WLNR 15029270 ....................8
FOX Broadcasting Company Full Episodes,
http://www.fox.com/full-episodes/ .......................7
Thomas W. Hazlett, Shedding Tiers for a
la Carte? An Economic Analysis of
Cable TV Pricing
, 5 J. on Telecomm. &
High Tech. L. 253 (Fall 2006) .....................17, 18
Internet Adoption, 1995-2011, Pew Internet
& American Life Project Surveys (March
2000-May 2011), http://www.
pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-
Data/Internet-Adoption.aspx ..............................9
Amanda Lenhart, Mary Madden, Paul
Hitlin, Teens and Technology: Youth Are
Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired
and Mobile Nation
, Pew Internet &
American Life Project (July 27, 2005),
available at http://www.pewinternet.org
/~/media/Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Teens_
Tech_July2005web.pdf.pdf................................12
Julie Macedo, Meet the Television of
Tomorrow. Don’t Expect to Own It Any
Time Soon
, 6 UCLA Ent. L. Rev. 283
(1999) .................................................................10

VII

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Mary Madden, Internet Penetration and
Impact, Pew Internet & American Life
Project (April 2006), available at
http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Fil
es/Reports/2006/PIP_Internet_
Impact.pdf.pdf....................................................12
The Media Family: Electronic Media in the
Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers
and Their Parents
, Kaiser Family
Foundation (May 24, 2006),
http://www.kff.org/ entmedia/7500.cfm ............19
Microsoft Windows Security and Safety,
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-
US/windows-vista/products/features/
security-safety ...................................................13
Kathleen Moore, 71% of Online Adults Now
Use Video Sharing Sites, Pew Internet &
American Life Project (July 25, 2011),
http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//
Files/Reports/2011/Video%20
sharing%202011.pdf ............................................9
NBC Video Library Full Episodes,
http://www.nbc.com/ video/library/full-
episodes/...............................................................7
NBC.com, The Office,
http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/
webisodes/ ............................................................7
Netflix, http://ir.netflix.com.....................................9
Netflix, http://www.netflix.com/
HowItWorks.........................................................9

VIII

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Barbara Ortutay, Microsoft brings TV to
Xbox 360, USA Today (Oct. 5, 2011),
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/
story/2011-10-05/xbox-tv-on-
demand/50670406/1.............................................8
Parents Television Council Online Store,
http://www.parentstv.org/
store/default.asp ................................................15
Melissa J. Perenson, The Hard Drive Turns
50, PC World (Sept. 13, 2006),
http://www.pcworld.com/article/127104/
the_hard_drive_turns_50.html .........................13
Redbox, http://www.redbox.com/ ...........................10
Roku, http://shop.roku.com/.....................................9
Tom Rosenstiel et al., How People Learn
About Their Local Community, Pew
Internet & American Life Project (Sept.
26, 2011) , available at
http://pewinternet.org /~/media//
Files/Reports/2011/Pew%20Knight%20
Local%20News%20Report%20
FINAL.pdf............................................................6
Signal Bleed – How to Prevent Viewing of
Scrambled Cable TV Programs, Federal
Communications Commission,
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/signal-bleed-
how-prevent-viewing-scrambled-cable-
tv-programs........................................................14

IX

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Scott Sleek, Video on Demand Usage:
Projections and Implications, Pike &
Fischer (Oct. 2007), http://www.
roadbandadvisoryservices.com/research
ReportsBriefsInd.asp?repId=541 ......................16
Jeffrey Stavroff, Damages in Dissonance:
The “Shocking” Penalty for Illegal Music
File Sharing
, 39 Cap. U.L. Rev. 659
(Summer 2011) ..................................................10
Brian Stelter, Hulu Unveils Subscription
Service for $9.99 a Month, N.Y. Times
Media Decoder (June 29, 2010, 1:24
PM), http://mediadecoder.blogs.
nytimes.com/2010/06/29/hulu-unveils-
subscription-service-for-9-99-a-month/...............8
Adam Thierer, Parental Control Perfection?
The Impact of the DVR and the VOD
Boom on the Debate over TV Content
Regulation
, Progress & Freedom
Foundation, Progress on Point (Oct. 11,
2007), available at
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/
papers.cfm?abstract_id=1029764......................16
Adam Thierer, Parental Controls & Online
Child Protection: A Survey of Tools and
Methods
(Summer 2009), available at
http://www.pff.org/parentalcontrols/
Parental%20Controls%20&%20Online%
20Child%20Protection%20%
5BVERSION%204.0%5D.pdf ............................13

X

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Adam Thierer, Who Needs Parental
Controls? Assessing the Relevant Market
for Parental Control Technologies
,
Progress & Freedom Foundation
(February 2009), available at
http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/
2009/pop16.5parentalcontrolsmarket.pdf ........20
Adam Thierer, Why Regulate
Broadcasting? Toward a Consistent
First Amendment Standard for the
Information Age
, 15 CommLaw
Conspectus 431 (2007).......................................14
TiVo, http://www.tivo.com/products/
home/index.html ................................................16
The TV Boss, http://www.thetvboss.org/...............17
The TV Parental Guidelines, http://www.
tvguidelines.org/ratings.htm.............................14
TVGuardian Foul Language Filter,
http://tvguardian.com/.......................................18
Urban Dictionary, http://www.
urbandictionary.com/define.
nh_eterm=podcast ...............................................6
U.S. Consumer Sales and Forecasts, 2003-
2008, Consumer Electronics Association
(July 2007) .........................................................15
Verizon, http://parentalcontrolcenter.com/ ...........13
Walmart, http://www.walmart.com/catalog/
product.do?product_id=10771165&
findingMethod=rr. .............................................10

XI

Miscellaneous—Continued:

Page(s)

Weemote, http://weemote.com/..............................18
Nick Wingfield, Internet-Ready TVs Usher
Web Into Living Room, Wall St. J. (Jan.
5, 2009), http://online.wsj.com/
article/SB123111603391052641.html.................8
Xfinity, http://xfinity.comcast.net/
constantguard/...................................................13
Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives
of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers,
Kaiser Family Foundation (Oct. 28,
2003), http ://www.kfforeentmedia/
entmedial02803pkg.cfm ....................................19

INTEREST OF AMICI CURIAE

1
Amici curiae submit this brief in support of
Respondents, urging the Court to affirm the
judgment below that the FCC’s regulatory framework
for broadcast television content is unconstitutional.
Amici are nonprofit public interest organizations that
advocate for consumer and citizen interests on a wide
range of issues. Although amici often appear on
opposite sides of technology policy debates, they are
united in their commitment to the First Amendment
and its preference for technological empowerment
over paternalistic censorship. Amici have a
substantial interest in this case because the FCC’s
indecency-enforcement regime is fundamentally
inconsistent with First Amendment rights and
inserts the heavy hand of government into the
individual choices of consumers and parents.
The Cato Institute was established in 1977 as a
nonpartisan public policy research foundation
dedicated to advancing the principles of individual
liberty, free markets, and limited government. Cato’s
Center for Constitutional Studies was established in
1989 to help restore the principles of limited
constitutional government that are the foundation of
liberty. Toward those ends, Cato publishes books and
studies, conducts conferences and forums, publishes

1 No counsel for a party authored this brief in whole or part,
and no counsel or party made a monetary contribution to fund
the preparation or submission of this brief. No person other
than the amici curiae and their counsel made any monetary
contribution to its preparation and submission. The parties
have consented to this filing.
(1)

2
the annual Cato Supreme Court Review, and files
amicus briefs.
The Center for Democracy & Technology is a
nonprofit public interest organization focused on
privacy and other civil liberties issues affecting the
Internet, other communications networks, and
associated technologies. The Center for Democracy &
Technology represents the public’s interest in an open
Internet and promotes the constitutional and
democratic values of free expression, privacy, and
individual liberty.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a nonprofit
member-supported organization based in San
Francisco, California, that works to protect free
speech and privacy rights in an age of increasingly
sophisticated technology.
Public Knowledge is a nonprofit public interest
organization devoted to protecting citizens’ rights in
the emerging digital culture. It is focused on the
intersection
of
intellectual
property,
media,
technology, and the law. Public Knowledge seeks to
guard the rights of consumers, innovators, and
creators at all layers of our culture through
legislative, administrative, grassroots, and legal
efforts, including regular participation in intellectual
property, free speech, and telecommunications cases.
TechFreedom is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public
policy think tank that works on a wide range of
information technology policy issues, including free
speech, child protection, and privacy. TechFreedom
works to promote the progress of technology that
improves the human condition and expands
individual capacity to choose. TechFreedom

3
envisions a bright future where technology enhances
freedom and freedom enhances technology.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

In the modern media environment, the FCC no
longer has the constitutional authority to regulate
speech under a reduced standard of scrutiny based on
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978),
when the same speech, if communicated by any
medium other than broadcast television, would
receive full First Amendment protection. The Second
Circuit recognized as much. See, e.g., Pet. App. 15a-
17a. Petitioners defend the FCC’s actions based on
Pacifica, though that case’s factual underpinnings
have withered in the 33 years since it was decided.
Pacifica is based on an archaic and unrealistic
conception of broadcast television. The state of media
and technology today directly challenges Pacifica’s
assumption that broadcast television is a unique
medium that deserves only watered-down First
Amendment protection. The Second Circuit hit the
nail on the head when it concluded that “we face a
media landscape that would have been almost
unrecognizable in 1978.” Pet. App. 15a. In 1978,
nearly all Americans relied on broadcasting to deliver
a limited range of video media to their homes, and
were largely powerless to control their children’s
access to that media. Technological advances over
the last 33 years have brought new types of media
into existence, combined elements of older media with
new types of media in new delivery systems, and
brought about a dramatic increase in the ability of
consumers to control the content of media received in
their homes.

4
Today’s world of converged, customizable video
media would have seemed like science fiction to the
Pacifica court. But it is precisely the kind of world
this Court contemplated in 2000 when it declared:
“Technology expands the capacity to choose; and it
denies the potential of this revolution if we assume
the Government is best positioned to make these
choices for us.” United States v. Playboy Entm’t
Group, Inc.
, 529 U.S. 803, 818 (2000).
It is well past time for the law to recognize how
much the world has changed by ending the FCC’s
censorship of speech that is broadcast on television.
The factual basis on which Pacifica rests no longer
holds true. Pacifica’s “pervasiveness” doctrine and its
consideration of broadcast television as an “intruder
in the home” are relics of a bygone technological era
and no longer justify affording regulation of such
speech diminished scrutiny. Put simply, we no longer
live in the world where Pacifica was decided.
In light of the dual developments of media
platform convergence and consumer control, it is no
longer appropriate to apply different legal standards
to the same content based solely on the medium
consumers use to access it. Broadcast media no
longer has “unique” characteristics that justify
affording diminished protection to speech that, in
other contexts, would be fully protected under the
First Amendment. Because over-the-air broadcasting
is just one of countless ways Americans access
content (including indecent content, if they choose), it
no longer makes sense to accord broadcast speech any
less First Amendment protection than other forms of
media. Instead, speech that is broadcast should be
extended the same full First Amendment protection

5
that this Court has afforded speech on the Internet.
See Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997).

ARGUMENT

Pacifica accorded broadcast television limited
First Amendment protection because of two
characteristics the Court understood the medium to
have at the time: first, broadcast television had a
“uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all
Americans”; second, broadcast television intruded
into the privacy of the home, where it could easily be
accessed by children. Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748-750.
Today, broadcast television is no longer uniquely
pervasive because technology has transformed how
Americans receive information and entertainment;
and it is no longer invasive because technology has
empowered consumers to control the broadcasting
content to which they and their children are exposed.

A. The Convergence Of Modern Communica-

tions Technologies Means That Broadcast
Television Is No Longer A “Uniquely
Pervasive” Medium

Pacifica
largely rests on the finding that
“broadcast media have established a uniquely
pervasive presence in the lives of all Americans.” 438
U.S. at 748. When Pacifica was decided in 1978 (and
only a small percentage of households had cable
television), there really were only two ways to deliver
content to the public in their homes: broadcast
(television and radio) and paper (newspapers,
magazines, and the like). Cf. id. at 749 n.27. Over
thirty years later, however, the proliferation of new
media technologies has radically transformed, and
continues to transform, how entertainment and news

6
content is delivered to the home. The characteristics
of various media are converging; as they converge,
the distinctions among various types of content and
delivery methods are blurring.
The proliferation of satellite and cable television
channels as well as Internet-based video outlets has
eroded the “unique[ness]” of broadcast media.
Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748. The media environment
has changed profoundly: Americans—adults and
children alike—are increasingly accessing new video
content through cable, telephone, and satellite
operators such as Comcast’s Xfinity, EchoStar’s DISH
Network, AT&T’s UVerse, Verizon’s FIOS, and
DirecTV; over the Internet on popular websites such
as YouTube, iTunes, and Hulu; via podcasts2; by
online video streaming through services such as
Netflix; and through DVD purchases and rentals.3
All these media come into the home as invited guests,
not as intruders.
These new technologies have largely displaced
traditional broadcasting. Not only are more people
accessing video content by means besides broadcast
television, but broadcast content is increasingly
available through these new media technologies.
Individuals routinely access broadcast programming

2 A “podcast” is an audio or video file, usually in MP3
format, made for download to a portable player or personal
computer. See Definition of “podcast,” Urban Dictionary,
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=podcast.
3 See, e.g., Tom Rosenstiel et al., How People Learn About
Their Local Community, Pew Internet & American Life Project
(Sept. 26, 2011), available at http://pewinternet.org/~/media/
/Files/Reports/2011/Pew%20Knight%20Local%20News%
20Report%20FINAL.pdf.

7
through cable and satellite services. And network
programming is increasingly available on the
Internet. For example, entire episodes of popular
network shows such as MasterChef (Fox), Parks and
Recreation
(NBC), Dancing with the Stars (ABC), and
Survivor (CBS) can be viewed on the networks’
websites for free.4 Indeed, broadcasters are now
sometimes posting their content online before its
release on broadcast platforms. As early as March
2005, NBC debuted its situation comedy The Office
on the Internet a week before the show premiered on
network television.5 More recently, NBC launched a
series of “webisodes” of the show—short vignettes
featuring the show’s characters—that are only
available online.6
Network shows and other broadcast programming
are also now available on a number of websites such
as iTunes and YouTube. NBC, an intervenor in this
case, helped to start its own popular website and
subscription service, Hulu.com (described as “a hub
for network TV shows and movies”7) and Hulu Plus

4 See FOX Broadcasting Company Full Episodes,
http://www.fox.com/full-episodes/; NBC Video Library Full
Episdoes, http://www.nbc.com/video/library/full-episodes/; ABC
Full
Episodes,
http://abc.go.com/watch;
CBS
Video,
http://www.cbs.com/video/.
5 Anne Becker, NBC’s Office Gets Web Broadcast,
Broadcasting
&
Cable
(Mar.
16,
2005),
http://www.
broadcastingcable.com/article/CA511340.html.
6 NBC.com, The Office, http://www.nbc.com/The_Office/
webisodes/.
7 Jeremy Caplan et al., Best Inventions of 2008, Time
Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,
28804,1852747_1854195_1854116,00.html (ranking Hulu.com

8
(“a sweeping vision of the future of online, on-demand
television viewing”).8 Furthermore, many broadcast
programs can be downloaded through video game
consoles,9 viewed as streaming content by using
external devices such as Roku or Apple TV,10 or
accessed directly on new Internet-ready televisions.11
And complete seasons of most broadcast shows are
available for rental or purchase on DVD shortly after
the TV season comes to a close.12
These new forms of media are rapidly gaining on
traditional broadcast television. Well over three-
quarters of all Americans use the Internet,13 up from

the fourth best invention of 2008 and opining, “When cable
eventually dies, websites like Hulu will be held responsible.”).
8 Brian Stelter, Hulu Unveils Subscription Service for $9.99
a Month, N.Y. Times Media Decoder (June 29, 2010, 1:24 PM),
http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/hulu-unveils-
subscription-service-for-9-99-a-month/.
9 Barbara Ortutay, Microsoft Brings TV to Xbox 360, USA
Today (Oct. 5, 2011), http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/
story/2011-10-05/xbox-tv-on-demand/50670406/1.
10 Marvin Ammori, Copyright’s Latest Communications
Policy: Content Lock-Out and Compulsory Licensing for Internet
Television
, 18 CommLaw Conspectus 375, 377, 391 (2010).
11 See, e.g., Nick Wingfield and Don Clark, Internet-Ready
TVs Usher Web Into Living Room, Wall St. J. (Jan. 5, 2009),
http:// online.wsj.com/article/SB123111603391052641.html.
12 See, e.g., Joe Flint, ‘True Blood,’ Anyone? That’s the
Question HBO Is Getting Ready to Ask As It Offers Repeats of Its
Sexy, Violent Beast to Commercial Cable Networks
, San Jose
Mercury News, at 3D (July 25, 2010) (“[M]ost TV shows are now
released on DVD long before they’re available in reruns * * * *”),
available at 2010 WLNR 15029270.
13 Demographics of Internet Users, Pew Internet &
American Life Project Surveys (Apr. 26-May 22, 2011),

9
about half in 2000, and under a third in 1997.14 “As
of May 2011, six in ten * * * American adults have a
high-speed broadband connection at home.”15 And
nearly three quarters of adults on the web use video-
sharing websites.16 The FCC itself recognizes that
“substantial numbers of households now subscribe to
cable or satellite * * * (87%).” FCC Brief 44 (citing
Pet. App. 15a). Netflix subscriptions, which provide
subscribers “unlimited TV episodes and movies
instantly over the Internet” through their computers
or televisions, start at $7.99 per month.17 Currently,
there are over 20 million Netflix subscribers (most in
the United States).18 A basic Roku device, which
allows access to Internet content on a television, is
less than $60.19 New DVD players are readily

http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data/Whos-
Online.aspx (finding that 78% of all Americans use the
Internet).
14 Internet Adoption, 1995-2011, Pew Internet & American
Life
Project
Surveys
(Mar.
2000-May
2011),
http://www.pewinternet.org/Static-Pages/Trend-Data/Internet-
Adoption.aspx.
15 Broadband and Dial-Up Adoption, 2000-2011, Pew
Internet & American Life Project Surveys (Mar. 2000-May
2011),
http://www.pewinternet.org/Trend-Data/Home-
Broadband-Adoption.aspx.
16 Kathleen Moore, 71% of Online Adults Now Use Video-
Sharing Sites, Pew Internet & American Life Project 2 (July 25,
2011), http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/
Video%20sharing%202011.pdf.
17 Netflix, http://www.netflix.com/HowItWorks (click “How
Does Netflix Work?)
18 Nextflix, http://ir.netflix.com.
19 Roku, http://shop.roku.com/.

10
available for under $35,20 and DVDs are widely
rented at automated supermarket kiosks for as little
as one dollar.21 This stands in stark contrast to the
state of technology during the decade when Pacifica
was decided—when the Internet “as we understand it
today was not widely available for consumer and
commercial use,”22 and primitive VCRs “cost an
average of $1,955.”23 To say that times have changed
since this Court found “broadcast media [to] have
established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives
of all Americans” (Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748) is a
drastic understatement.
As the FCC and its amici note, a small proportion
of households still rely on over-the-air broadcast
signals for video programming. See, e.g., FCC Br. 44-
45; Parents Television Council Amicus Br. 7. But the
number who do so exclusively has dwindled from
almost the entire television-viewing public in 1978 to
(at most) 15 percent of it,25 and perhaps as low as
eight percent,26 as consumers increasingly access

20 Walmart, http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?
product_id=10771165&findingMethod=rr.
21 Redbox, http://www.redbox.com/ (click “Find a Location”).
22 Jeffrey Stavroff, Damages in Dissonance: The “Shocking”
Penalty for Illegal Music File-Sharing, 39 Cap. U.L. Rev. 659,
714 (Summer 2011).
23 Julie Macedo, Meet the Television of Tomorrow. Don’t
Expect to Own It Anytime Soon, 6 UCLA Ent. L. Rev. 283, 308
n.140 (1999).
25 Parents Television Council Amicus Br. 7.
26 Cord Cutting and TV Service: What’s Really Going On?
Consumer Electronics Association, (May 2011), available at
http://www.cesweb.org/shared_files/ECD-TOC/
CEACordCuttingAnalysis.pdf

11
broadcast content using numerous non-broadcast
platforms. Given the affordability of non-broadcast
alternatives,27 that a small percentage of households
still chooses to rely exclusively on the traditional
broadcast medium likely reflects consumer choice as
much as lack of access to alternatives. In any event,
eight and 15 percent are figures more often
associated
with
the
description
“rare”
than
“pervasive.”

B. Consumers’ Increasing Ability To Control

The Content Available In Their Households
Means Broadcasting Is No Longer An
Invasive Harm To Children

Not only are new technologies changing the way
people watch programs, they are changing the way
content is controlled by the consumer. Consumers
now have unprecedented freedom of choice to avoid
exposure to inappropriate content, and, thus, it is
simply no longer true that “[p]atently offensive,
indecent material presented over the airwaves
confronts the citizen” like an “intruder” in the home.
Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748. Today, unlike in 1978,
viewers can effectively shield themselves and their
children from content they deem undesirable using a
wide variety of mechanisms.
One of the main factors Pacifica cited to justify
regulation of broadcast television was the Court’s

27 The average price of basic subscription video service was
just $17.65 per month in 2009, with basic satellite service, which
reaches remote areas, being slightly cheaper at $17.29. Federal
Communications Commission, Report on Cable Industry Prices
8-9 (Feb. 14, 2011), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/
edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-11-284A1.pdf.

12
view that “broadcasting is [a medium] uniquely
accessible to children.” See 438 U.S. at 749. But
today, children are leading the shift away from
broadcast television to a variety of new (and largely
unregulated) media outlets and technologies such as
websites, blogs, social networking services, iPads,
iPods, MP3 players, smart phones, other mobile
devices, and cable and satellite networks.28 It is no
surprise that Internet access among the young
exceeds that of older generations. Upward of 87% of
U.S. children ages 12 to 17 use the Internet.29 And
when children watch broadcast content, they do so
increasingly using non-broadcast platforms.30
In the Internet context, there is a large and ever-
increasing number of tools available to parents to
allow them to exercise control over what content their
children access. The development and proliferation of
parental control technology has flourished in the
absence of government regulation of online content.
Internet Service Providers such as Comcast, Verizon,
and Charter provide an array of parental control

28 See Mary Madden, Internet Penetration and Impact, Pew
Internet & American Life Project 3-4 (April 2006), available at
http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2006/PIP_Int
ernet_Impact.pdf.pdf; Amanda Lenhart, Mary Madden, Paul
Hitlin, Teens and Technology: Youth Are Leading the Transition
to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation
, Pew Internet & American
Life Project 1 (July 27, 2005), available at http://
www.pewinternet.org/~/media/Files/Reports/2005/PIP_Teens_Te
ch_July2005web.pdf.pdf.
29 Lenhart et al., supra note 28, at 2.
30 Id. at 2-3.

13
features to their subscribers.31 Numerous software
filtering and other tools are available, often as free
downloads,
and
websites
such
as
www.GetNetWise.org provide information to help
parents compare available tools.32 Parental controls
are also being bundled into the leading operating
systems provided by Microsoft and Apple.33 And
falling computer storage costs means it is easier than
ever to archive preferred media content on computer
systems—and thus increasingly a personal computer
can supplement or even replace a television.34
As for traditional television sets, even the most
basic ones have built-in content controls to allow
parents to regulate their children’s exposure to
inappropriate programming. The V-Chip has been
installed in all television sets with screens 13 inches
or larger made since 2000 and allows parents to block

31 Xfinity, http:// xfinity.comcast.net/constantguard/;
Verizon, http://parentalcontrolcenter.com/; http://www.
myaccount.charter.com/customers/support.aspx?supportarticleid
=1678.
32 Adam Thierer, Parental Controls & Online Child
Protection: A Survey of Tools and Methods 113-143 (Summer
2009),
available
at
http://www.pff.org/parentalcontrols/
Parental%20Controls%20&%20Online%20Child%20Protection%
20%5BVERSION%204.0%5D.pdf
33 Microsoft Windows Security and Safety, http://
windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/products/features/
security-safety; Apple OS X
Security, http://www.apple.
com/macosx/what-is/security.html.
34 Melissa J. Perenson, The Hard Drive Turns 50, PCWorld
(Sept.
13,
2006),
http://www.pcworld.com/article/127104/
the_hard_drive_turns_50.html.

14
broadcast content based on ratings.35 The ratings use
age-based designations36 as well as several specific
content descriptors (for coarse language, sex, and
violence) to permit parents to tailor the programming
to which their children will have access.37 These
ratings are displayed prominently at the beginning of

35 Signal Bleed – How to Prevent Viewing of Scrambled
Cable TV Programs, Federal Communications Commission,
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/signal-bleed-how-prevent-viewing-
scrambled-cable-tv-programs.
36 The ratings system offers the following age-based
designations:
“TV-Y” — All Children
“TV-Y7” — Directed to Children Age 7 and Older
“TV-Y7-FV” — Directed to Older Children Due to
Fantasy Violence
“TV-G” — General Audience
“TV-PG” — Parental Guidance Suggested
“TV-14” — Parents Strongly Cautioned
“TV-MA” — Mature Audience Only
The TV Parental Guidelines, http://www.tvguidelines.
org/ratings.htm.
37 The ratings system also uses the following content labels:
“D” — Suggestive Dialogue
“L” — Coarse or Crude Language
“S” — Sexual Situations
“V” — Violence
“FV” — Fantasy Violence
Ibid.

15
programs, in onscreen menus and interactive guides,
and in local newspaper listings.38
Another critical development has been the rapid
rise of technologies such as DVD players, digital
video recorders (“DVRs”), and video on demand
(“VOD”) services. These technologies give parents
the ability to accumulate libraries of preferred (or
even pre-screened) programming for their children
and determine exactly when that programming will
be viewed. Using these tools, households can tailor
programming to their specific needs and values.
These new technologies are so effective in providing
parents control that one of petitioner’s amici
proudly—and, in light of its position before this
Court, ironically—tells its members to “[g]o ahead,
give your kids the remote,” because with these
technologies, “you’ll never have to worry again about
what your children are watching on TV.”39
Ownership of such content controls is rapidly
increasing as their costs plummet. In just seven

38 Adam Thierer, Why Regulate Broadcasting? Toward a
Consistent First Amendment Standard for the Information Age,
15 CommLaw Conspectus 431, 472 (2007).
39 Parents Television Council Online Store, http://www.
parentstv.org/store/default.asp. Amicus the Parents Television
Council (“PTC”) also features the message that, “[w]ith TiVo
KidZone, PTC-recommended programming is always at your
fingertips.” Ibid. The PTC also touts other user empowerment
tools, too—such as SkyAngel, Clear Play, and Power Cop. The
strong endorsement of these technologies on the PTC’s website
stands in jarring contrast to that group’s assertion in its brief
that “[t]he technology available to viewers is not an effective
bulwark against indecent broadcasting.” See Parents Television
Council Amicus Br. 14.

16
years, the percentage of households with a DVD
player climbed from 13% in 2000 to 83% in 2007.40
DVRs and VOD are experiencing similarly rapid
growth as the price of units has fallen from more
than $1,000 only a few years ago to less than $100
today.41 It is estimated that two out of five U.S.
households had a DVR last year,42 up from one in
every five households in 2007 and one in every 13
households in 2005.43 And for the 86% of U.S.
households subscribing to cable or satellite television
services (Pet. App. 15a), the cost is even lower, as
most video service providers now offer DVR
functionality bundled into their cable and satellite
set-top boxes. Meanwhile, “nearly 90% of U.S. digital
cable subscribers had access to VOD, and 46% of all
basic cable customers were offered the service” as of
March 2007.44 Some forecasts estimate that each

40 U.S. Consumer Sales and Forecasts, 2003-2008, Con-
sumer Electronics Association (July 2007).
41 Compare Comments of the Progress & Freedom
Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation before the
Federal Communications Commission, No. 09-194, 40 (Feb. 24,
2010), available at http://ecfsdocs.fcc.gov/filings/2010/02/24/
6015538029.html,
with
Tivo
Product
Information,
http://www.tivo.com/products/home/index.html.
42 DVRs Now In 40% of U.S. TV Households, Leichtman
Research
Group
(Sept.
27,
2010),
http://www.
leichtmanresearch.com/press/092710release.html.
43 DVRs Now In Over One of Every Five U.S. Households,
Leichtman Research Group (Aug. 21, 2007), http://www.
leichtmanresearch.com/press/082107release.html.
44 Adam Thierer, Parental Control Perfection? The Impact
of the DVR and the VOD Boom on the Debate over TV Content
Regulation
, Progress & Freedom Foundation, Progress on Point
(Oct. 11, 2007), available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/
papers.cfm?abstract_id=1029764 (internal citations omitted).

17
home will be watching nearly two hours of on-
demand content nightly by the end of 2012.45 These
technologies—unimaginable in 1978—are already
well within reach of most Americans.
A variety of other technologies empower parents
to control their children’s viewing of content
historically delivered by broadcast to televisions
whose only parental controls were the on/off switch
and the power cord. The vast majority of the
television-viewing public who are cable and satellite
subscribers (Pet. App. 15a) have even more options to
filter or block unwanted broadcast programming:
set-top boxes offer locking functions for individual
channels, preventing children from accessing those
channels or programs without a password,46 and
parental controls are also usually intuitive and
readily accessible.47 For example, DirecTV has the
“Locks & Limits feature built into [its] equipment,”
which allows parents to “block specific movies based

45 Scott Sleek, Video on Demand Usage: Projections and
Implications, Pike & Fischer (Oct. 2007), available at
http://www.roadbandadvisoryservices.com/researchReportsBrief
sInd.asp?repId=541.
46 A comprehensive survey of the content controls that cable
television providers make available to their subscribers can be
found on the “Control Your TV” website of the National Cable
and Telecommunications Association. See Control Your TV,
http://controlyourtv.org/Intro.aspx.
47 A new industry sponsored campaign entitled “The TV
Boss,” http://www.thetvboss.org/, offers easy-to-understand
tutorials explaining how to program the V-Chip or cable and
satellite set top box controls. As part of the effort, several public
service announcements and other advertisements have aired or
been published reminding parents that these capabilities are at
their disposal.

18
on their MPAA rating, lock out entire channels, [and]
set limited viewing hours.”48 Just as with the V-
Chip, parents can access the restricted content—
whether for their own enjoyment or to pre-screen it
for
their
children—by
entering
a
personal
identification number.49 In addition, specialized
remote controls can also limit children to channels
approved by their parents.50 And independent
screening tools such as TVGuardian offer features
like a “Foul Language Filter” that can filter out
profanity (even from broadcast signals) based on
closed captioning.51 It was these types of user
controls that led the Court to find “a key difference
between cable television and the broadcasting
media,” and to apply strict scrutiny to regulation of
cable TV content. Playboy, 529 U.S. at 815.
Even as these parental empowerment technologies
improve and proliferate, an increasing number of
households are simply taking a more active role in
setting and enforcing rules for what their children
watch.52 A 2003 Kaiser Family Foundation survey

48 Thomas W. Hazlett, Shedding Tiers for a la Carte? An
Economic Analysis of Cable TV Pricing, 5 J. on Telecomm. &
High Tech. L. 253, 266 n.39 (Fall 2006) (citation omitted).
49 Ibid.
50 See Weemote, http://weemote.com/.
51 See TVGuardian Foul Language Filter, http://tvguardian.
com/.
52 See, e.g., ACLU v. Mukasey, 534 F.3d 181, 203 (3d Cir.
2008) (“Though we recognize that some * * * parents may be
indifferent to what their children see, others may have decided
to use other methods to protect their children—such as by
placing the family computer in the living room, instead of their
children’s bedroom * * * .); ibid. (“Studies have shown that the

19
found that “[a]lmost all” parents have set “rules
about their children’s use of media.”53 That is
particularly true of parents with young and
impressionable children.54 A similar percentage of
parents had similar rules for video game and
computer usage.55 As the Census Bureau found,
“[p]arents are taking a more active role in the lives of
their children than they did 10 years ago,”
particularly with regard to rules respecting what
their children watch.56 Rather than modern media
being like an unwanted “intruder in the home,”
Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748, technology has increasingly

primary reason that parents do not use filters is that they think
they are unnecessary because they trust their children and do
not see a need to block content.”).
53 Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants,
Toddlers and Preschoolers, Kaiser Family Foundation, 9 (Oct.
28, 2003), http ://www.kff.org/entmedia/3378.cfm.
54 The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of
Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and Their Parents, Kaiser
Family Foundation, 20 (May 24, 2006), http://www.kff.org/
entmedia/7500.cfm.
55 Ibid.
56 The Census Bureau report measured how many families
imposed three specific types of household media rules:
restrictions on the type of programming allowed, the number of
hours watched, and time and day viewing was allowed. It found
the percentage of families imposing all three types of rules rose
from 1994 to 2004 for the three different age groups surveyed:
enforcement in families with children 3 to 5 years of age rose
from 54% to 64.7%, 6 to 11 years of age rose from 60.3% to
70.5%, and 12 to 17 years of age rose from 40.2% to 46.7%.
Jason Fields et al., A Child’s Day: Home, School, and Play
(Selected Indicators of Child Well-Being)
, U.S. Census Bureau
Household Economic Studies 17 (Feb. 2001), available at
http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/p70-68.pdf.

20
empowered modern families to allow only invited
guests.
The FCC and its amici contend that this array of
technological developments is not enough to stem the
concerns raised in Pacifica. The FCC focuses its
attention almost exclusively on the V-Chip rather
than the many other devices available to parents at
low cost, see FCC Br. 49-52, claiming that the V-Chip
is ineffective in essence because not enough parents
use it or know how to use it. See id. at 51.
Meanwhile, the FCC’s amicus, the PTC, seems to
suggest that even the most foolproof technological
development could not undercut the FCC’s regulatory
authority because “it is respondents, not their
audience, who are obliged to take steps to avoid
broadcasts of indecent material.” Parent Television
Council Amicus Br. 5.
Those arguments do not pass muster. As a factual
matter, the FCC’s focus on the percentage of parents
who use the V-Chip ignores the fact that many
parents have children who are either too young or too
old for use of the V-Chip to be necessary, while others
prefer to use other tools and methods to control their
children’s media consumption.57 Regardless, the
constitutional significance of user empowerment
technologies as less restrictive alternatives to
government speech controls is not diminished
because parents must take steps to use them, some

57 Adam Thierer, Who Needs Parental Controls? Assessing
the Relevant Market for Parental Control Technologies, The Pro-
gress & Freedom Foundation (February 2009), available at
http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/2009/pop16.5parental
controlsmarket.pdf.

21
parents choose not to, or they do not always function
perfectly.
If parents choose not to use the many available
tools for controlling media in their house, the FCC
cannot constitutionally claim that this gives the
government the right to act in loco parentis. That
conclusion follows from this Court’s holding that
governmental action to promote parents’ voluntary
efforts to protect their children from sexual content is
a less restrictive alternative to statutorily mandated
blocking. See, e.g., Playboy, 529 U.S. at 827. In
Playboy, the Court found a statute requiring cable
companies to scramble sexually explicit programming
unconstitutional in light of the less restrictive
alternative of governmental promotion of voluntary
blocking of the signal upon requests by parents. Id.
at 822. As the Court observed, “targeted blocking
[initiated by parents] enables the government to
support parental authority without affecting the First
Amendment interests of speakers and willing
listeners.” Id. at 815. In language directly relevant
here, the Court continued:
It is no response that voluntary blocking requires
a consumer to take action, or may be
inconvenient, or may not go perfectly every time.
A court should not assume a plausible, less
restrictive alternative would be ineffective; and a
court should not presume parents, given full
information, will fail to act.

22
Id. at 824.58 Consequently, the FCC’s insistence on
perfect, effortless, and universally used tools is
misplaced. And the PTC is simply wrong that
“[t]hose who contend that viewers who want to avoid
indecent broadcasting should use a technology filter
have it backwards.” Parents Television Council
Amicus Br. 12. This Court has never suggested that
it is appropriate to restrict protected expression
simply to spare those who disapprove of the message
the minor inconvenience of avoiding it.

C. Because

Broadcasting

Is

No

Longer

Uniquely Pervasive Or Intrusive, Broadcast
Speech Merits The Same First Amendment
Protections As Other Media

As the Second Circuit recognized below, the Court
has consistently applied strict scrutiny to indecency
regulations outside the broadcasting context. Pet.
App. 13a-14a. The First Amendment generally
prohibits the regulation of speech based on content,
and even “indecent” speech has inherent First
Amendment protection. See id. at 13a; see also Sable
Commc’ns of Cal., Inc.
v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115, 126
(1989). But in Pacifica, this Court appeared to apply
a lower level of scrutiny, stating that, “of all forms of

58 Following this Court’s reasoning in Playboy, the Third
Circuit overturned another content regulation statute—the
Child Online Protection Act (“COPA”)—and held that Internet
content filters are both more effective and less restrictive than
COPA. ACLU, 534 F.3d at 202-203. The appeals court
emphasized that “filters are more flexible than COPA because
parents can tailor them to their own values and needs and to the
age and maturity of their children and thus use an appropriate
flexible approach differing from COPA’s ‘one size fits all’
approach.” Id. at 203.

23
communication, it is broadcasting that has received
the most limited First Amendment protection,” and
thereby concluding that the FCC may lawfully censor
broadcast content that is indecent but not obscene.
Pacifica, 438 U.S. at 748.
The Pacifica Court concluded that broadcasting
deserved only limited First Amendment protection
because it was a “pervasive” and uncontrollable
medium that intruded into the privacy of the home,
and therefore easily accessible by children. Id. at
748-750; see also Reno, 521 U.S. at 869 (concluding
that the Internet is not “invasive,” contrasting
Pacifica). And perhaps it was in 1978.
But, as described above, three decades later,
technological advances have undermined the two
factual predicates of the FCC’s legal authority to
regulate broadcast indecency. The convergence of
broadcast and other forms of media undercuts the
uniqueness of broadcast television as an “intruder” in
the home, and the emergence of parental control tools
for both broadcast and new media has undermined
the legal underpinnings of the FCC’s authority to
regulate broadcast content. These developments
have undermined the sole justification for relegating
broadcast speech to an inferior category deserving
something less than ordinary First Amendment
protection. Like the Internet and other means of
mass communication, broadcast television “is entitled
to the highest protection from governmental
intrusion” absent some supportable factual “basis for
qualifying the level of First Amendment scrutiny that
should be applied to this medium.” Reno, 521 U.S. at
863, 870 (analyzing the state of technology in

24
deciding what level of scrutiny to apply to the
Internet).59
Under strict scrutiny, the FCC’s regulatory regime
cannot pass constitutional muster: No matter how
compelling the government’s interest in child
protection or how narrowly tailored the FCC’s
censorship, governmental speech controls must yield
to widely available parental controls as less
restrictive means to achieve that goal. Sable, 492
U.S. at 126 (“[The government may only] regulate the
content of constitutionally protected speech [e.g.,
indecency] in order to promote a compelling interest
if it chooses the least restrictive means to further the
articulated interest.”). Thus, this Court has applied
strict scrutiny to restrictions on both cable TV and
the Internet and squarely endorsed the use of
technological controls as a less restrictive means to
further a legitimate governmental objective. See
Reno, 521 U.S. at 877 (noting the significance of “user
based” alternatives to governmental regulation of
speech on the Internet); Playboy, 529 U.S. at 814-815
(noting the same for cable television); accord Brown
v. Entm’t Merchs. Ass’n, 131 S. Ct. 2729 (2011)
(holding that California’s regulation of violent video
games fails strict scrutiny because of parental

59 Indeed, even in broadcasting, all other content based
restricions on speech have been examined under strict scrutiny.
See, e.g., FCC v. League of Women Voters of Cal., 486 U.S. 364,
376-378 (1984) (holding content-based broadcasting regulations
subject to strict scrutiny); see also Playboy, 529 U.S. at 815
(noting that, although cable regulation is generally examined
under intermediate scrutiny, strict scrutiny applies to content
based regulation of indecent cable programming) (discussing
Turner Broad. Sys., Inc. v. FCC, 520 U.S. 180, 189-190 (1997)).

25
controls for video games). The same conclusion is
warranted here.

CONCLUSION

Whatever “legal logic and common sense” (Nat’l
Religious Broadcasters Amicus Br. 5) Pacifica might
once have had was built on factual foundations that
have long since collapsed. Traditional broadcasting
has been largely replaced by other video delivery
media that are invited into the home. The broadcast
content censored by the FCC is just one of many
kinds of video content available to consumers over a
growing array of converged media. At the same time,
technology has empowered Americans to control the
programming that they and their children are
exposed to. This is the digital “revolution” this Court
celebrated for “expand[ing] the capacity to choose.”
Playboy, 529 U.S. at 818. There is no room in this
world for Pacifica’s watered-down protections.
Content broadcast over television deserves the same
full constitutional protection afforded to Internet
content in Reno v. ACLU. Consequently, the
judgment of the Second Circuit should be affirmed.
Respectfully submitted.
ILYA SHAPIRO
JOHN P. ELWOOD
CATO INSTITUTE
Counsel of Record
1000 Massachusetts Ave., ERIC A. WHITE
NW
VINSON & ELKINS LLP
Washington, DC 20001
2200 Pennsylvania Ave.,
(202) 842-0200
NW, Suite 500 West
ishapiro@cato.org
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 639-6500
jelwood@velaw.com


26
EMMA J. LLANSÓ
THOMAS S. LEATHERBURY
CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY
VINSON & ELKINS LLP
& TECHNOLOGY
Trammell Crow Center
1634 I Street, NW,
2001 Ross Avenue,
Suite 1100
Suite 3700
Washington, DC 20006
Dallas, TX 75201
(202) 637-9800
(214) 220-7700
ellanso@cdt.org
tleatherbury@velaw.com
JOHN BERGMAYER
LEE TIEN
HAROLD FELD
ELECTRONIC FRONTIER
PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE
FOUNDATION
1818 N Street, NW,
454 Shotwell Street
Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94110
Washington, DC 20036
(415) 436-9993
(202) 861-0020
tien@eff.org
john@publicknowledge.org
BERIN SZOKA
TECHFREEDOM
1899 L Street, NW, Suite
1260
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 455-8186
bszoka@techfreedom.org

Counsel for Amici Curiae
NOVEMBER 2011

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